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If that’s the best reporting that Rachel Maddow can present, then she and her producers need to jump into the effluent as President Trump goes about draining the swamp.

In case you missed it, MSNBC celebrity Rachel Maddow pitched a “scoop” Tuesday about having an “exclusive look” at then billionaire businessman Donald Trump’s 2005 federal tax return. The “scoop” turned out to be a pooper scooper – the tax return showed that he was rolling in cash in 2005, and that he was paying more than his Hillary-Rodham-Clinton fair share in federal income taxes.

If an individual – ANY individual – earns $150 million and pays nearly $40 million in income taxes, is that news? Hardly.

For a minute, forget the back-and-forth about whether what Maddow reported was legal. It indeed was legal under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for her to report it. The illegal part occurred before that, when somebody “leaked” the tax return out of its supposedly protected domain of privacy and into the mailbox of “investigative reporter” David C. Johnston – who put it on a fast track into of the public sector. If Maddow did not participate in that personal-property theft as a co-conspirator, then she has done nothing illegal – only foolish.

For a minute, forget that Maddow suffered enough of an on-air faux pas to all but mandate that she fall on her sword for an encore. She promised a fat, juicy deluxe hamburger. What she served her public amounted to little more than an empty bun so old that it was swathed in mold and mildew.

Here’s what should be the real concern: Today’s “journalism” is a double slap in the face of what it used to be. That’s mainly because a new generation totally devoid of news judgment is in charge. 

Journalism today has an ugly face and an ugly body – it is cloaked in character assassination. It is long on hype and personal opinion, short on logic and facts.

It is long on one-sided press releases, conjecture and hyperbole, short on selfless investigation and in-depth scrutiny.

Is there even double-source confirmation these days? That’s when a reporter confirms a piece of information or an assertion by getting two sources – independently – to confirm the information or the assertion.

The three cornerstones of reporting, editing and publication used to be – and still should be – the standards of truth, accuracy and impartiality. Unfortunately, a blanket has been thrown too many times over those cornerstones by too many in today’s media.